We want our children to be happy. We want them to grow up happy, confident and with self-esteem and self-belief.
Dealing with certain perceived stressful situations can be difficult enough for adults …. (Think how you have felt going into A level exams or finals at University, competing in a sporting match or at a job interview?)
How then can a child maturely deal with self-efficacy?
Self efficacy – their ability to succeed in a situation – how they think, feel or behave.
They’re not fully formed physically, never mind emotionally. They rely on us to teach them, guide them and nurture their complete health.
What sort of beliefs do they hold about themselves? And how do they face challenges like state exams and possibly dealing with a grade they didn’t want to see arriving on their doorstep that third Saturday in January? And what does that do to their self-efficacy for the future?
It must take a knock.
It can take years to develop self-efficacy and a sense of wellbeing …… Is a child’s sense of wellbeing, confidence, self-esteem and self-belief provoked when for almost two years they face possible emotional devastation, worry and anxiety, punctuated by consistent assessments, if they don’t achieve a level of evaluation in just three hours on one morning of their young lives, which could, they might feel, define them as a success or a failure?
And how do we teach them that if they have to go through it, that the outcome on doesn’t define them or their future accomplishments?
Surely their success in self-efficacy is how they react and deal with a disappointment. Isn’t that real success?
Their are many techniques and tools for helping with wellbeing but one which has been found to achieve wonderful and positive results is Tapping. Tapping or EFT, is one of the most powerful, simple and easy techniques and can produce almost instantly positive results. Children being asked to face challenges at such a tender age, the stress, worries, fears, anxiety and possible subsequent feelings of inadequacy is hard for any parent to face, let alone the vulnerable child who is forced to undergo archaic measures of judgement.
Little Sunflower aims to teach children a life skill from age seven that they can learn, just like riding a bike, learning to swim or reading a book. One they can take and use anytime they feel. One that, hopefully, will assist in strengthening their self-belief, so when the time comes, to face challenge, they have the inner confidence to think, feel and behave in a manner that will make us proud in knowing we are creating a skill set to ensure their safe future.
5 Little Sunflower Top Tips for AQE Students
- Help your child make a list of their fears and worries. It might be worries about exams. What school they want to go to. Not going to the same school as their friend. Getting an answer to a question wrong or finishing it on time. Help them write a list of their strengths. Maybe they are a good friend. A kind person, helpful, talented at football, gymnastics, music, maths or even English.
- Acknowledge their worries and tell them that these feelings are ok and they are normal. Talking about our feelings can help us make rational decisions for moving forward and aid in developing resilience. Talk to them about letting go of the worries and focusing on positivity and Sunflower power!
- An easy exercise to try together. On a scale of 1 – 10 decide how you are feeling today. Take a deep breath of calm and hold it inside for a moment. Feel that calm flood through your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. If there are any little feelings of worry left … let them all go as you breath out. Try that again. Breathing in calm, holding it for a moment and letting go on the out breath of any remaining feelings of worry. Next, breath in confidence, hold that confidence inside, tell it to fill you up from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and then let go of any remaining worries on the out breath. Feel the confidence grow inside you like a tall, beautiful sunflower.
- Start this next exercise with a big smile on your face. Then tap on your finger nails, starting with your thumb nail, and create a mantra something like this one. Repeating to yourself – I feel happy, I feel wonderful, I feel fantastic, I feel different, I feel special.
- Don’t forget those special Sunflower hugs. A hug of warmth, kindness and caring. A hug of happiness and love. A hug for energy and strength. A hug for bravery and courage.